Introduction to Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Administration can provide benefits in three different categories, including; when you retire, if you become disabled, and finally when you pass away. You can find information about Social Security benefits on the Social Security Administration website. The age for receiving full retirement benefits has been 65 for many years; however, for people born after 1938 it is gradually increasing until reaching age 67 for people born after 1959. A person can start receiving retirement benefits at age 62. however, if a person decides to receive benefits after age 62, their benefits are reduced by a fraction of one percent for each month before their full retirement age. To find out how much someone would lose if they retired at age 62, you can visit the social security website. A person has the option to retire between age 62 and full retirement age. A person qualifies for Social Security benefits by obtaining Social Security credits when working at a job and paying Social Security taxes.
The credits are based on the amount of the person’s income and their employment history is what determines their eligibility for retirement, disability and survivor benefits when a person dies. For 2007, a person receives a credit for $ 1,000 of earnings, up to a maximum of four credits per year. Each year, the amount of income needed to receive credits increases slightly as the average income level increases. The credits earned remain on the person’s Social Security record even if they change jobs or receive no income for a time. There are special rules that apply to Social Security coverage for certain types of work.
If a person is self-employed, they earn the same amount of credits as employees; however, special rules apply if you have net earnings of less than $ 400. For people in the military, they earn credits in the same way as civilians, however, there is the opportunity to earn additional credits under certain conditions. There are also special rules that apply to people who have jobs that include; housework, farm work, or people who work for the church or church-controlled organizations that don’t pay Social Security taxes.
There are also types of work that do not count for Social Security. Most federal employees hired before 1984, because since January 1, 1983, all federal employees have paid the Medicare hospital insurance portion of the Social Security Tax. Others who are affected by this are railroad workers who have more than 10 years of service. Employees of some state and local governments who chose not to participate in Social Security also do not qualify, and lastly, children under the age of 21 who perform household chores for a parent. A person can also choose to delay retirement benefits. If this is the case, their benefits will be increased by a certain percentage depending on the year they were born and the increase will automatically add up from when they reach full retirement age until they decide to retire or until they turn 70, whatever come first. One last thing to consider about retirement benefits is whether a person works and receives benefits. An individual’s income on or after the month they reach full retirement age will not reduce their Social Security benefits, however, their benefits will be reduced if their income exceeds certain limits during the months before reaching full retirement age. .
If a person works and begins receiving benefits before full retirement age, $ 1 in benefits will be deducted for every $ 2 in earnings over the annual limit. In 2007, the limit is $ 12,960. In the year in which the person reaches full retirement age, their benefits will be reduced by $ 1 for every $ 3 they earn over a different annual limit, for 2007 it is $ 34,440, until the month in which they reach full retirement age . Once the person reaches full retirement age, they can continue working and their Social Security benefits will not be reduced no matter how much they earn.
Another helpful benefit offered by the Social Security Administration is disability benefits. The Social Security Administration pays disability benefits in two different ways, one through the Social Security disability program insurance and the second through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. To find information about the SSI disability program, click on the link provided. Social Security pays benefits to people who are unable to work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least a year or result in death. Federal law requires such a strict definition of disability, while some other programs give benefits to people who have a partial disability or a short-term disability, while Social Security does not. A person must meet certain income requirements to be eligible for benefits. Individuals must meet two different income tests to be eligible for disability benefits. The first test is a “recent work” test that is based on the person’s age at the time they became disabled and the second test is a “work duration” test to show that they worked long enough under Social Security. . A person should apply for disability benefits as soon as they become disabled because it can take a long time to process the application for disability benefits. It usually takes 3-5 months. After the application is submitted, the Social Security Administration will review your application and make sure they meet some basic requirements for benefits, such as whether they worked long enough to qualify and will evaluate current work activities. If these requirements are met, they will forward your application to your state’s Disability Determination Services office. This agency makes the decision for the SSA, they use your doctors and disability specialists to ask your doctor for information about your condition, all the facts of your case will be considered. They will also use evidence from any hospital, doctor’s office, clinic or institution that the person has been treated for to obtain any other information.
Finally, another option offered by the Social Security Administration is survivor benefits. People generally only consider that Social Security pays for retirement benefits, however some of the Social Security taxes that people pay go towards providing survivors insurance for workers and their families. The value of the survivor insurance that the individual has under Social Security is probably more than the value of their individual life insurance. As an individual works and pays Social Security taxes, he earns credits for his Social Security benefits. The number of years and individual work needs depends on the age of the person when he dies. The younger a person is, the fewer years they need to have worked, but no one needs to work more than 10 years to be eligible for Social Security benefits. Under a special rule, if a person has only worked for a year and a half in the three years immediately before death, benefits can be paid to the people and their spouses who take care of the children. Those who are eligible for survivors benefits include; widower / widower of the person at age 65 if born before January 1, 1940 or at age 67. Reduced widow’s benefits can be obtained starting at age 60. The person’s widow or widower can receive benefits at any age if they take care of their child who is eligible for the benefit of a child and is 16 years of age or younger or who is disabled. Unmarried children of a person under the age of 18 or 19 if they attend primary or secondary education full time. Your children can receive benefits at any age if they were disabled before age 22 and are still disabled. In certain circumstances, benefits may also be paid to stepchildren, grandchildren, or adopted children. Dependent parents can also receive benefits if they are 62 or older. If a person is divorced, their former spouse is eligible if they are 60 or older and their marriage lasted more than 10 years. If a person’s ex-spouse does not meet the age requirement or the length of marriage requirement, but is caring for their child under the age of 16, they may still be eligible.